If John Bargis could sum up the impact of the real Coalition of Independent Mortgage Brokers of Canada (CIMBC), it would be: “pleasantly disruptive.”
“CIMBC’s model is absolutely becoming more popular as it continues to make noise in the industry,” said Bargis, founder and CEO of the Coalition. “As we continue to receive inquiries about what we have to offer, it’s become quite apparent that brokers have many questions about the value they’re paying for regardless of the network they belong to — and they’re exploring their options.”
CIMBC is experiencing continued exponential growth as more brokers are realizing “that with the benefit of the collective top of mind, the idea of ‘UNITY EMPOWERS’ just can’t be beaten,” Bargis said. It most recently welcomed the Peak Mortgage Team, Keystart Mortgage, Rock Mortgage Company, and iMortgage Canada to its coalition of independent mortgage brokerages and with 82 member brokerages and counting, the addition of these and several others brings CIMBC’s volume to just under $10 billion.
Peak and Keystart are coming together with two other firms to be named soon under the newly formed Capital Point Mortgage. Combined they have extensive experience in Western Canada and bring over $670 million in collective volume. Bargis calls these veteran firms a great addition to the team of member brokers and has no doubt they’ll represent CIMBC well in the B.C. and Alberta regions, where 80% of the coalition’s recent growth in volume hails from.
Joel Sida, broker owner of iMortgage Canada, joined the Coalition - which he calls “a boutique, one-stop brokerage” - from a network, drawn by CIMBC’s broker-centric structure. It serves as an independent outlet that “boosts the growth of our own brand with no unexpected surprises,” he noted.
“There is an expectation of quality in our work which makes us give that extra push our clients and our lenders appreciate - and at the end of the day it’s handsomely rewarded by our affiliation with the Coalition,” he said.
Mark Raponi and Marco Puopolo, partner and broker of record, respectively, at Rock Mortgage, were drawn to the increasing buzz surrounding the Coalition. Puopolo calls it “the best kept secret by design” and the support provided by the CIMBC is there every step of the way.
“The invaluable experience CIMBC offers to its broker partners is unique and truly unparalleled in the broker space,” Puopolo said. “This is an organization that was indisputably formed by brokers for brokers, which I found was missing in the market.”
Raponi looks forward to leveraging CIMBC’s years of experience in the mortgage broker space and its fulsome expertise to benefit Rock Mortgage’s agents and brokers, noting the Coalition’s “main focus is in effectively helping brokers build stronger, more meaningful partnerships with lenders, as well as a more viable business model with access.”
Bargis said others have tried to replicate the organization’s model, but with one significant difference - their version is typically similar to a network with splits and monthly costs to brokers and agents, whereas CIMBC charges none of that.
“Some have gone as far as to refer to their group as a coalition since our inception six years ago, not unlike the approach bank road reps take when competing against brokers by making a point of calling themselves bank mortgage brokers,” he said. “Personally, I couldn’t think of a better compliment from those who imitate but can’t duplicate.”
Lev Keselman, of Peak Mortgage, soon to be operating under the newly formed Capital Point Mortgage, said CIMBC truly understands broker needs and is a perfect fit for his team’s forward-thinking mindset. As they grow, they need a partner to provide matched resources and support while still retaining the freedom to expand independently and develop their own brand.
“We chose CIMBC because of their reputation with the lender community and history of supporting their partners in their direction of growth and development,” Keselman said. “We saw a perfect alignment between their technology and our team’s need to work more efficiently.”
John Yeo said the use of CRM and various marketing tools is a cornerstone of any successful business, as due to the COVID-19 pandemic “the marketing landscape has been changed beyond recognition.” Being a digital-first brand isn’t a new concept, but it’s now a critically important one and Yeo, of Keystart Mortgage, which is soon to be operating under Capital Point as well, said technology is crucial to their ultimate goal of helping clients make smart mortgage decisions. After exploring their options, they landed on CIMBC as the best match.
“We are excited with what they have to offer to their broker/owners in terms of technology, lender access, support in the growth of individual brokerages and more importantly their vision and passion to put customers first,” he said.
Speaking of technology, recent concerns have surfaced about data and the sale of it to third parties. This is a very real concern, and the main reason that CIMBC chose to work with an independent technology partner with an air-tight contract around data ownership, or the sale of it to third parties directly or indirectly.
With the increased call for transparency in the industry, Bargis said CIMBC’s broker partners “took the time to actually do their homework on the math behind the network models and our inclusive co-operative structure,” and were quick to determine that the cash incentives offered by networks were being paid to them with their own money at a premium cost and in exchange for a long-term contract. This wasn’t common knowledge in the past unfortunately, for many, but “the tide is certainly moving in a different direction today with many questioning the value they’re receiving for being tied down with no real net gains,” said Bargis.
“What got these brokerages - and others - to join CIMBC? The answer isn’t complicated. The very inclusive CIMBC model was designed to cater to our broker partners and the growth of their business, which includes maximizing their margins without affecting their agents’ commission or infringing on the broker partners’ - it’s that simple. Stay tuned for more to follow.”
For more information on CIMBC and its unique value proposition, feel free to email [email protected] or call 1-866-448-3343.